Posts Tagged ‘bauhaus’


Read: M. Specktor, That Summertime Sound

September 9, 2009

that summertime sound

It’s after Labor Day, which means that the summer of 2009 is a fast-fading memory (in US and Canadian culture anyway, even if the astronomers don’t agree). But the debut novel by Matthew Specktor, That Summertime Sound, looks even farther back, to a summer in the 1980s. The narrator has just finished his freshman year of college, and is lured to Columbus, OH by the promise of sharing a town with the girl of his dreams and his musical heroes, Lords of Oblivion.

Heavily laced with references to artists from Hüsker Dü to Elvis Costello (and a disconcertingly veiled-but-transparent reference to Bauhaus), the prose and narrative of That Summertime Sound are sparse and evocative. This works well to elicit the heat and sounds of the Columbus summer but less well to draw the characters, who come across as rather thinly sketched, especially the women. Nevertheless, it’s an engaging read, especially for anyone who was a music-loving adolescent.

More information on the book, including MP3s of excerpts read by Jeremy Irons, J. Mascis, James Franco and others, can be found here. Largehearted Boy asked Matthew Specktor to create and discuss a playlist for the book – you can read it here.

Buy the book here. I also have one free copy to give away. Just e-mail or message me on Twitter before 12 noon Eastern on Monday, September 14th, and I’ll pick someone at random from the responses and have a copy of the book sent out to you (US and Canada addresses only, I’m afraid).

MP3: “The Devil In It Somewhere” – TSS excerpt read by Jeremy Irons


Old school: Bauhaus

June 25, 2008

Depending on how you count, it’s been a generation, maybe two, since the rise of what we’d consider independent music. So there’s a lot of good stuff that you may not have heard if you are new to the scene, either by age or inclination. Following up on my posting of an early-80s punk classic, I think I’m going to interpret ‘old school’ like ‘driving school’ and provide the odd bit of education on the old, starting with Bauhaus.

Despite its deeply Modernist name, cult favourite Bauhaus is often considered to be the sire of all goth bands. Their first single, 1979’s “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” (if the name doesn’t ring a bell, click here) pretty much laid the groundwork for the genre – bleak, moody, and obsessed with vampires . Over the four or so years of their initial incarnation, they had several singles on the UK charts, including their brilliant cover of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust.” As far as I know, however, Bauhaus was never more than a cult band in the US or Canada.

However, the members found more success in their post-breakup projects. Minus Peter Murphy, the remainder of the band went on to start Love and Rockets, which released a number of singles that received airplay in North America, including ‘Ball of Confusion,’ ‘No New Tale to Tell,’ and the surprise top-ten single ‘So Alive,’ which helped their 1989 self-titled album to go gold. For his part, Peter Murphy‘s solo career has also resulted in a number of hits, including 1989’s ‘Cuts You Up‘ (which topped the modern rock charts for 7 weeks), ‘The Sweetest Drop,’ and ‘Indigo Eyes.’ Murphy is still active and touring, and in fact will be bringing his lovely rich voice and amazingly high cheekbones to the Roxy in Boston on Saturday, June 28th.

MP3: Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead

MP3: Love and Rockets – Ball of Confusion

MP3: Peter Murphy – The Sweetest Drop

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